Pirates likely to non-tender Zach Duke this offseason

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Once upon a time Zach Duke went 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA as a 22-year-old rookie, but in the five seasons since then he’s 36-66 with a 4.74 ERA while allowing the highest opponents’ batting average of any pitcher with at least 120 starts.
And now it looks like his Pirates career is coming to a close.
Duke failed to make it out of the second inning against the Braves yesterday, falling to 7-13 with a 5.47 ERA, and Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that “indications are powerful” the Pirates will non-tender the 27-year-old southpaw rather than risk having to give him a raise on this season’s $4.3 million salary via arbitration.
John Russell removed Duke from the game without saying a word to him in the second inning and afterward the manager told reporters, simply: “He didn’t have much. Not much else you can say.”

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.